Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Nassif, Nabil


Advanced energy management control systems (EMCS), or building automation systems (BAS), offer an excellent means of reducing energy consumption in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems while maintaining and improving indoor environmental conditions. This can be achieved through the use of computational intelligence and optimization. This research will evaluate model-based optimization processes (OP) for HVAC systems utilizing MATLAB, genetic algorithms and self-learning or self-tuning models (STM), which minimizes the error between measured and predicted performance data. The OP can be integrated into the EMCS to perform several intelligent functions achieving optimal system performance. The development of several self-learning HVAC models and optimizing the process (minimizing energy use) will be tested using data collected from the HVAC system servicing the Academic building on the campus of NC A&T State University. Intelligent approaches for modeling and optimizing HVAC systems are developed and validated in this research. The optimization process (OP) including the STMs with genetic algorithms (GA) enables the ideal operation of the building’s HVAC systems when running in parallel with a building automation system (BAS). Using this proposed optimization process (OP), the optimal variable set points (OVSP), such as supply air temperature (Ts), supply duct static pressure (Ps), chilled water supply temperature (Tw), minimum outdoor ventilation, reheat (or zone supply air temperature, Tz), and chilled water differential pressure set-point (Dpw) are optimized with respect to energy use of the HVAC’s cooling side including the chiller, pump, and fan. HVAC system component models were developed and validated against both simulated and monitored real data of an existing VAV system. The optimized set point variables minimize energy use and maintain thermal comfort incorporating ASHRAE’s new ventilation standard 62.1-2013. The proposed optimization process is validated on an existing VAV system for three summer months (May, June, August). This proposed research deals primarily with: on-line, self-tuning, optimization process (OLSTOP); HVAC design principles; and control strategies within a building automation system (BAS) controller. The HVAC controller will achieve the lowest energy consumption of the cooling side while maintaining occupant comfort by performing and prioritizing the appropriate actions. Recent technological advances in computing power, sensors, and databases will influence the cost savings and scalability of the system. Improved energy efficiencies of existing Variable Air Volume (VAV) HVAC systems can be achieved by optimizing the control sequence leading to advanced BAS programming. The program’s algorithms analyze multiple variables (humidity, pressure, temperature, CO2, etc.) simultaneously at key locations throughout the HVAC system (pumps, cooling coil, chiller, fan, etc.) to reach the function’s objective, which is the lowest energy consumption while maintaining occupancy comfort.